31 August 2021


It's amazing to watch them maneuver these huge vessels against the dock. Ship's speed is reduced from 16 knots to zero over about a 20 minute period. Most of these gigantic pieces of machinery have thrusters to do much of the job, but generally there are a couple big Tugboats to assist, even if they are just a sort of insurance policy for possible failure of some system.

Aruba is beautiful. We've been here previously on our way back to Ft. Lauderdale after we had passed through the Panama Canal. There's a wonderful cafe/bar on Main Street here that has GREAT WiFi. I thought I might disembark here and have a couple beers there while getting away from the absolutely lousy signal we have here on the ship. BUT... the announcement was made after the ship came to a stop that in order to disembark we'd have to wear masks, indoors and out here.
Aruba will get none of my greenbacks.

The "Celebrity Equinox" has plaques with interesting quotes posted above all the urinals to educate all us standing pee-ers. I read one I liked last night:
"Farm land grows crops. City land grows taxes."

I promised myself I would not gain weight on this cruise.
Right now I'm irritated with myself.

Tomorrow? We'll be either in Bonaire or Curacao, I cannot remember which.
I'd like to be able to get off the ship and get my "land legs".
Let's see if they punish us with masks.

Cruise Ships-

This ship is HUGE. It is by far the largest cruise ship I have sailed on.
It's 15 stories tall. I was surprised to hear that it drafts 27 feet. How in the world does it not capsize, even in a gentle turn?

28 August 2021

Keep My Head In The Sand?

We're docked in Nassau. Our journey will last ten days. When news broke of what is going on in Afghanistan I was conflicted-
I'm heartsick about our humiliation. How can we be SO STUPID?
But there's not a damned thing I can do about it. I voted my heart last November, fearful of exactly this scenario unfolding. Would things be different with the "Evil Tweeter" in office? I cannot help but think our enemies would fear him.
Now? EVERYONE around the world is laughing at us.

But here I am in the Bahamas. For a while I thought I simply wouldn't turn to the news. But I'm a news/political junkie, and I couldn't resist flicking over to see how CNN and MSPMS were trying to cover SloJoe's ass.
I was surprised. This screwup is so flagrant even they are criticizing his handling of it. And it will get worse when the magnitude of how many hostages the Taliban and ISIS have under their control.
Disaster is impossible to camouflage.

I went to the Boat's library to grab something to read and keep me , as much as possible, from watching the Boobtube. Amazingly, the VERY FIRST book I focused on was "William Tecumseh Sherman, In the service of my country. A life".
The book is dedicated "To my former students at Lipscomb University, Pepperdine University, and Auburn University, who understood and appreciated the significance of history".
If young people "understood and appreciated the significance of history", we WOULD NOT be in the disastrous situation we now find ourselves experiencing.

We'll be visiting Aruba, Curacao, and Bonaire.
I just wish I could fully be enjoying this experience.
That's impossible while my brethren and fellow citizens are at risk.

27 August 2021

The Wisdom of A Navy Corpsman

When I got drafted my closest friend in High School joined the Navy and asked to be trained as a Medic.
... Ballsy, considering the conflict in Viet Nam was growing, and Walter Cronkite was showing videos of that conflict every night on his broadcast. He came home from the war a dramatically changed man.

I've kept the relationship with that friend alive and reasonably well all these years since.
For some time now he's been saying "the country is lost", and I've argued that he is wrong. But everywhere I turn and look now I see things that make me either sick to my stomach or at least uncomfortable. (If you don't know who Megan Rapinoe is, do the research.)

We face trying times.
The difficulties we face will change our country, for better or worse.
And I'm not sure I want to live in the country that emerges.

Damn, I'm glad I'm old!

23 August 2021

Only Yesterday.


The "Karen Carpenter Story" has haunted me for years.
Thinking she was FAT, she apparently "pinched an inch" at her waist until her body was so diminished her heart stopped. Nothing anyone said to her could change her behavior.

Today I heard this song on our "Classic Rock" station and really listened to the words.

We must always remember-
Although they look normal, others around us may be living lives of quiet desperation.

20 August 2021

20 August Request for Help:

A friend from Chicago will be visiting Sara Jean today.  The visitor will be here most of the afternoon.
My request?
Do you know any tool I can use to insure she NEVER votes again?
Thanks in advance for any suggestions.


18 August 2021


I was ashamed of my country when we abandoned our allies in Viet Nam.
I'm ashamed today because we learned absolutely nothing from that experience.
What happened to "Duty. Honor. Country."?

17 August 2021


 Look at all these able, military-age males running around the airport at Kabul, Afghanistan, looking for an AK-47 or AR-15 to use in defense of their country against the evil Taliban!

16 August 2021

It's From France


Volkswagen's invasion of the U.S. started in the late 50's. At that time the average price of regular gasoline was about 25-cents a gallon. It was difficult for me to understand why anyone would want one of the noisy, uncomfortable little cars. Now I understand a little better-
As a second car they were somewhat like a motorcycle, only you could use one in the rain or snow and not be wet and miserable.

The car in the photo is a Renault "Dauphine", France's answer to the Beetle.
A friend's Father bought one for her because he had fought in the European Theater during WWII and could not bring himself to buy anything made by Hitler's minions. Dauphines were TERRIBLE little cars. They broke down
A LOT, and Renault had little to no logistics chain set up to support the car.
My friend's car sat for weeks waiting on some part. While the Beetle just got more and more popular, Renault got run out of town on a rail until they reappeared in the U.S. with the AMC/Renault "Alliance", (another raving success of an automobile).

Renault. Citroen. Peugeot.
What is it about French cars in the U.S.?

15 August 2021

August, 2021- A Great Idea!

Now that Afghanistan is once again falling into Taliban hands-
Why don't we just release all the Guantanamo prisoners?
That would resolve ALL our present-day issues, wouldn't it?

What was it that wise man said about history?

11 August 2021

Getting Jabbed

Since my Sara Jean is apparently in the early stage of going down the Lewy Body Dementia path, we've accelerated our list of things we'd like to do before we assume ambient temperature.
She loves to cruise. So we scheduled a 7-day Caribbean cruise which leaves in a few days. Our son will accompany us on this voyage.
We've already been "jabbed", but our son has not. When we scheduled the cruise he specifically asked, "Will you require proof of vaccination in order for me to board?" And the answer was "Negative".
So everything was in order. Until two days ago.
Change One to Plan B...
"You must have proof that you have been vaccinated."
Scramble time.

I know just enough about the vaccines to be dangerous. I've seen the frantic posts about mice that have received the MRNA vaccines. So to be safe, Sara Jean and I got the Johnson & Johnson/Jansen vaccination. (We're all gonna die soon anyway, so what the heck?)
We recommended the J&J vaccine to Big Bubba and did some research to find out where he could obtain one.
Everyone is "Out of Stock".
Panic time.

We call around... "Do you have ANY idea where the J&J vaccine can be found?
"No. You might try Googling it."

Yesterday we called and asked that question to our local Health Department-
"Yes we have it. Come tomorrow between 8 A.M. and 4:30 P.M.".
Our son now has his proof and can board the ship.
Time to relax.
Now, ask me how soon we'll be getting on a Cruise Ship again!

Our accelerated timeline-
Then a week in Cabo San Lucas.
Then a trip back to Indiana for a couple days in Madison, overlooking the Mighty Ohio River, followed by my High School reunion.
Then I think we'll run up to Shipshewana, Indiana so Sara Jean can shop 'til she drops while I run over to visit the Auburn/Cord/Duesenberg Museum in Auburn, Indiana.
Then we'll come home and prepare for our six weeks in Destin, Florida.
Interspersed in all this runnin' around we hope to spend some time in our new RV trailer.

Time flies when you're havin' fun.
I hope we can savor every moment of what we have left.

05 August 2021

The "Single Point Failure" Of The U.S. Constitution:

Are you as sick of this as I am?
Watch this video. And if you want change, and you're not already a member of Billwhittle.com, get your butt over there and throw some money their way.
We MUST start fighting back!

02 August 2021

Backing Up


Trying to make the most of the years we have left, (hopefully MANY), we decided to buy an RV.
I wrote about loving truck campers because they are compact, you only have to license one vehicle, and you can pull a trailer behind them.
Well, best laid plans...

We went shopping and I made the mistake of taking a look at this thing.
It has a "garage" in the front with a ramp. You can drive a motorcycle up that ramp with room to spare for other stuff. The slide at the rear accommodates a full King-size bed. At the campsite you can pull the bike out of the garage and there are two bunk beds up there in front.

I've been terrified of maneuvering this thing behind our 3/4 ton truck. So today I took it out to a BIG empty parking lot in our neighborhood and practiced.
Surprisingly, after two or three shots at trying to hit my target I got to the point I was no longer terrified.
(Ain't sayin' I was great at it, but if/when I need to put it into a campsite, with a little ziggin' and zaggin', I'll get the sucker where it needs to rest.)

Now? We're outfitting the thing.
LOTS of nickels and dimes.
Stay tuned. More to come.